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Future iPhones to wield OpenCL acceleration

post #1 of 72
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Imagination Technologies has posted a series of job openings for OpenCL engineers, indicating that the open, general purpose GPU parallelism technology Apple spearheaded for use in Mac OS X Snow Leopard is destined to also play a significant role in boosting embedded graphics and video acceleration on the company's future handheld products.

Imagination's job postings include an OpenCL Compiler Senior Design Engineer, OpenCL Driver Design Engineer, and OpenCL Compiler Design Engineer. Each requests experience with "embedded real-time operating systems" as well as kernel and assembly language development skills, and indicate a focus on "software for current and next generation graphics hardware."

PowerVR and OpenCL

Imagination is the developer behind PowerVR mobile graphics and video processor cores, which are broadly used in millions of mobile phones and other devices from media players to TV set top boxes to car navigation systems. PowerVR graphics cores are also installed in everything from Apple's iPhone and iPod touch to Nokia's N95 and Internet Tablets, as well as other higher-end mobile phones from makers such as Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Palm.

There are some mobile devices that don't use PowerVR cores; Sony uses a proprietary graphics processor in its PlayStation Portable (although the upcoming PSP2 is rumored to use a PowerVR design), while both the Nintendo DS and the Microsoft Zune lack a GPU core, simply relying on software graphics running on their main ARM CPU. Dedicated PowerVR cores built into an ARM or Intel Atom SoC or "System on a Chip" will not only provide improved graphics power for gaming, but also enable support for higher quality video acceleration.

Additionally, while PowerVR cores include support for Microsoft's proprietary DirectX graphics APIs, nearly all mobile devices have now standardized around OpenGL. Apple's strength in the iPod segment and its strong start with the iPhone are both helping build critical mass around OpenGL in the mobile development space. That will also lend support to the related OpenCL API as a general purpose computing environment on mobile devices, a potential that has until now largely remained only a matter of speculation.

OpenCL poised to go mobile

Imagination's interest in hiring OpenCL developers means the GPGPU (General-Purpose computation on GPUs) technology is already immediately relevant to mobile developers, as the company's PowerVR GPUs are currently used only in mobile devices, and the job postings make it clear that the OpenCL positions are related to embedded, mobile graphics. While the company has expressed interest in entering the laptop PC market, it faces foreboding, entrenched competition from GPU giants NVIDA and AMD's ATI.

NVIDIA and AMD have already jumped on the OpenCL bandwagon to support the open new API in conventional desktop PC GPGPU computing, but Imagination's active interest in hiring OpenCL engineers means that the GPGPU technology has a broader application range than many industry observers have suspected. The potential for OpenCL's parallel computing in mobile devices includes greater power efficiency and improvements in raw computing power across multiple cores rather than a reliance on a primary, hotter running, higher speed CPU.

Apple and Imagination

Apple recently stepped up to buy 8 million shares of the graphics technology company, and was revealed in an accompanying press release to be a licensee of Imagination's technology. That news was first revealed by AppleInsider as all but official months ago.

While Apple's relationship with Imagination was long shrouded in secrecy, the Mac maker had publicly revealed its plans to design custom chips for its iPod and iPhone lines via its acquisition of PA Semi, a fabless processor design firm. Imagination's PowerVR cores are the industry standard for mobile graphics, so there's no real surprise that Apple would license the technology for use in its upcoming SoC designs.

However, Imagination's push to hire OpenCL developers indicates something new: rather than simply adding standard graphics cores to standard ARM CPUs to create conventional SoC devices like those already used across the board in today's mobile phones, Apple clearly intends to rapidly accelerate the processing capabilities of its upcoming mobile devices using the same GPGPU parallel processing technology that it will bring to conventional desktop and laptop computers with Snow Leopard.

OpenCL's strategic wins for Apple

While Apple presented OpenCL to the Khronos Group to maintain as an open, royalty free industry standard, the company will continue to enjoy a first mover advantage in implementing OpenCL within Snow Leopard next year, as well as a lead in OpenCL mobile hardware as it begins production of its custom designed SoCs with new and perhaps multiple PowerVR graphics and video processing cores.

Apple's mobile OS used on the iPod touch and iPhone is also based directly upon its desktop Mac OS X kernel, operating system, and development environment, an advantage in software portability that is not similarly shared by its competitors, including Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows Mobile, or by Nokia's Symbian, Nokia OS, and Linux products. Google's new Android mobile OS similarly shares less in common with desktop Linux platforms.

Additionally, OpenCL's similarities to the OpenGL APIs will help entrench both open standards in mobile development before Microsoft's DirectX has a chance to monopolize the market. That in turn will create a mobile bulwark which will likely help marginalize the dominance of DirectX in the broader computing landscape, just as the iPod pulled the wind from the sails of Microsoft's Windows Media DRM strategy. In the game console market, DirectX on the Xbox 360 faces Nintendo and Sony, both in the OpenGL camp. Mobile gaming is entirely based on OpenGL. On the PC desktop, the proprietary DirectX hegemony is facing erosion from increasing interest in cross platform support for Linux and Mac OS X, which can only be delivered via OpenGL.

By promoting OpenCL as an interoperable, open industry standard, Apple will level the playing field in the graphics arena, flattening Microsoft's monopoly position so that innovative companies can both contribute towards the state of the art and score touchdowns when they introduce superior products.
post #2 of 72
The "facts" in your article about OpenGL are wong. What your are writing is maybe true in theory but thats just all.
Take a look at the official Subset. If you want modern features you have to take the Extensions from Nvidia or ATI.

Windows-OpenGL != Linux-OpenGL != Mac-OpenGL. And Nvidia-OpenGL != AMD-OpenGL

e.g. NVIDIA Hardware und OpenGL problems
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...614#Post246614
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...267#Post246267
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...075#Post245075
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...629#Post242629
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...472#Post241472
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...209#Post246209

OpenGL3 is a joke. Big promisses but nearly "nothing" happened. At the end also Carmack (one of the big supporters) was pissed about OpenGL3. DirectX is much better for the programmer.


The PS3 is able to use PSGL. PSGL is a specified Version from OpenGL ES. But PSGL is just an option for the ps3. There are also so much extensions, that where remains nearly nothing from "to be independent from the hardware". No one who understand something from coding on the ps3 will use PSGL.
The Nintendo Wii is using a Custom API. Some of the Concepts of OpenGL are simliar.
post #3 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Hopefully, soon for this:

Next Apple moves will be Books and Games…
http://spidouz.wordpress.com/2008/09...ooks-and-games

With full Mac OS X 10.5.6 inside. Firewire 800 and Ethernet ports. VGA video-out.

AMAZING!

VGA? Apple hasn't supported VGA in years and is set to move all their Macs from DVI to Mini DisplayPort at Macworld.


Anyway, this article was very informative. Can't imagine just how awesome Apple's next generation iPhone/iPod touch platform will be.
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post #4 of 72
I'm glad to see Imagination getting right to work on leveraging OpenCL.

Sure OpenGL 3.0 might not be all that people expected but the wait for OpenGL 3.1 hopefully
isn't that long and that's the first release that breaks some backwards compatibility and moves forward.

In the meantime OpenGL ES 2.0 along with faster processing and OpenCL should have a nice impact on the next iPhone update.

In fact if they begin to use a Snow Leopard based core I think you'll finally see the arrival of background processing. My guess is Apple forbids it today because background processes would slow the phone down.

Grand Central was designed precisely to manage these taskes and a low level while OpenCL manages your data (CPU, GPU) at a high level. The next iPhone would do well to support both technologies to enable more functionality.
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post #5 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

... Can't imagine just how awesome Apple's next generation iPhone/iPod touch platform will be.

I think Apple is thinking beyond iPhones and iPods with this move.
Apple will be basing their future "tablets" and "netbooks" on this same architecture.
Apple wants notebook class performance in a "netbook" or "tablet" form factor.
Something the competition will not be able to deliver because they must make compromises...Apple will not.
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

The "facts" in your article about OpenGL are wong. What your are writing is maybe true in theory but thats just all.
Take a look at the official Subset. If you want modern features you have to take the Extensions from Nvidia or ATI.

Windows-OpenGL != Linux-OpenGL != Mac-OpenGL. And Nvidia-OpenGL != AMD-OpenGL

e.g. NVIDIA Hardware und OpenGL problems
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...614#Post246614
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...267#Post246267
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...075#Post245075
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...629#Post242629
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...472#Post241472
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...209#Post246209

OpenGL3 is a joke. Big promisses but nearly "nothing" happened. At the end also Carmack (one of the big supporters) was pissed about OpenGL3. DirectX is much better for the programmer.


The PS3 is able to use PSGL. PSGL is a specified Version from OpenGL ES. But PSGL is just an option for the ps3. There are also so much extensions, that where remains nearly nothing from "to be independent from the hardware". No one who understand something from coding on the ps3 will use PSGL.
The Nintendo Wii is using a Custom API. Some of the Concepts of OpenGL are simliar.

You've posted this comment twice now.

Carmack's word isn't the be-all-end-all and besides, he said he was quite impressed by a little device that uses OpenGL exclusively - the iPhone:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._combined.html

PSGL is based on OpenGL ES and OpenGL ES 1.0 is supported as one of the official PS3 graphics APIs.

Finally, linking to forum posts to prove a point doesn't do much for the credibility of your statements.
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post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Finally, linking to forum posts to prove a point doesn't do much for the credibility of your statements.

The facts of my Postings are true and i know that nearly no one is using "OpenGL" (the "OpenGL" on the PS3 uses also a lot of extensions -> ) on the ps3, also from a person who is working in the Game-Industry (if i didn't understand him wrong)

It is totally wrong that many people are thinking that opengl is the the perfect solution (in the sense of platform independent).

I invite you for a discussion at www.3dcenter.de . There are some guys who know a lot of these things and who understand english:

e.g. you can post in this thread: http://www.forum-3dcenter.org/vbulle...439348&page=10
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post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I think Apple is thinking beyond iPhones and iPods with this move.
Apple will be basing their future "tablets" and "netbooks" on this same architecture.
Apple wants notebook class performance in a "netbook" or "tablet" form factor.
Something the competition will not be able to deliver because they must make compromises...Apple will not.

Netbooks are junk and since netbook sales have not shown to be eating into Apple's premium, full-size laptop sales, but rather into cheap, junky, sub-$1000 full-size PC laptops, Apple has no real motivation to compete there. A tablet is more realistic, though it brings up other issues (namely whether to include a physical keyboard or force everyone to type on a virtual keyboard, which is quite different from typing on an iPhone with one's thumbs).
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post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

The facts of my Postings are true and i know that nearly no one is using "OpenGL" (the "OpenGL" on the PS3 uses also a lot of extensions -> ) on the ps3, also from a person who is working in the Game-Industry

It is totally wrong that many people are thinking that opengl is the the perfect solution (in the sense of platform independent).

Not sure what you mean by "platform independent," nor do I understand who here is suggesting OpenGL is somehow the perfect solution.

OpenGL has a major edge over Microsoft's proprietary DirectX in consoles and now the incredibly popular iPhone/iPod touch platform, as well as the Mac of course, which is outpacing the PC industry 4 to 1. Windows gaming is a niche market that is disappearing thanks to consoles (including their own Xbox) and games like WoW (which doesn't require an awesome gaming rig to run); the Xbox is the only console using DX, but the original was completely overshadowed by Sony's PS2 and the 360 has been similarly marginalized by the Wii.
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post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I think Apple is thinking beyond iPhones and iPods with this move.
Apple will be basing their future "tablets" and "netbooks" on this same architecture.
Apple wants notebook class performance in a "netbook" or "tablet" form factor.
Something the competition will not be able to deliver because they must make compromises...Apple will not.

Exactly!
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post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

N
OpenGL has a major edge

OpenGL Windows != OpenGL Linux != OpenGL Mac != "OpenGL" PS3 != ...

Extensions from NVidia != ATI != PS3 , ...

I heard that the Differences can be that big, that sometimes it is maybe easier to port a Game from Direct X to OpenGL than from one OpenGL to another OpenGL! OpenGL is full of proprietary extensions from the GPUs, if you want to use a modern feature set. Apple is going again in a special way.

There is no "that" OpenGL.

And the good Games on the PS3 don't use "OpenGL"/PSGL, from the things I heard.
post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

OpenGL Windows != OpenGL Linux != OpenGL Mac != "OpenGL" PS3 != ...

Extensions from NVidia != ATI != PS3 , ...

I heard that the Differences are that big, that sometimes it is easier to port a Game from Direct X to OpenGL than from one OpenGL to another OpenGL! OpenGL is full of proprietary extensions from the GPUs, if you want to use a modern feature set. Apple is going again in a special way.

There is no "that" OpenGL.

And the good Games on the PS3 don't use "OpenGL"/PSGL, from the things I heard.

No offense, but I don't go off hearsay.
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post #13 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

By promoting OpenCL as an interoperable, open industry standard, Apple will level the playing field in the graphics arena, flattening Microsoft's monopoly position so that innovative companies can both contribute towards the state of the art and score touchdowns when they introduce superior products.

That's assuming that OpenCL can be used to deliver what OpenGL lacks vs DirectX.

Eventually I can see this being the case. Post-production graphics are mainly rendered on the CPU. With generic multi-threaded rendering like that in parallel on GPUs, OpenCL will deliver real-time photo-realism eventually and you don't need any better than that.

OpenCL doesn't look very easy to develop with compared to DirectX and OpenGL code though. It's specialized code and it's not something developers will be able to hit the ground running with.

I can't see a huge switchover in the short-term. Microsoft is a pretty big player when to comes to video games. They won't just roll over and let OpenGL + OpenCL take away their exclusivity and developers won't rush to modify their millions of lines of code game engines that are rooted in DirectX either.
post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

No offense, but I don't go off hearsay.

Take my invite and ask some questions about the things in that forum. There are some guys (maybe 3 to 8 persons, i dont't know) in that forum who know a lot of these things, because they work as programmer in the game industry (I think one is working for EA) or working at university with opengl and so on. If you have some luck, they will see your questions and will answer. If I remember right, there was e.g. also a Guy (Daniel Pohl) who is now working for Intel (Raytracing).

I am no expert, don't understand the things about 3d and I was thinking always in the way you do (and like the most people), but I read some things and I know now that the things are different and not that easy with OpenGL I thought.

Sure, I hope that OpenGL will be more attractive in the future and that it will also getting better. But I don't think it will be easy to beat Direct-X. Maybe the Situation, that you can't use Direct-X 10 on Windows XP and that many people dislike Vista was a big chance... it was, but OpenGL 3 came later than it was planed and wasn't that big cut, that opengl is needing from the old things inside.

MS will indroduce also general purpose GPU in Direct-X (I think it will be part of Direct-X 11). I think OpenCL will be the standard outside gaming. But in the Gaming-Industry (on PCs) I don't believe that something is changing.

I am out
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

VGA? Apple hasn't supported VGA in years and is set to move all their Macs from DVI to Mini DisplayPort at Macworld.

That's not far from saying Apple doesn't support DisplayPort because they use a different connector. Apple hasn't had the physical D15 port on their computers in years, but they still support VGA signaling, just with a differently shaped ports. All you need is an add-on connector to use it. Even the new Mini DisplayPort models only need a simple plug-in adapter to use it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

OpenGL Windows != OpenGL Linux != OpenGL Mac != "OpenGL" PS3 != ...

Extensions from NVidia != ATI != PS3 , ...

I heard that the Differences can be that big, that sometimes it is maybe easier to port a Game from Direct X to OpenGL than from one OpenGL to another OpenGL! OpenGL is full of proprietary extensions from the GPUs, if you want to use a modern feature set. Apple is going again in a special way.

There is no "that" OpenGL.

And the good Games on the PS3 don't use "OpenGL"/PSGL, from the things I heard.

Didn't you say all that two or three times already today? Besides, posting the same thing to different threads is poor form.
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

The facts of my Postings are true ... nearly no one is using "OpenGL" (the "OpenGL" ... also from a person who is working in the Game-Industry (if i didn't understand him wrong) ... It is totally wrong that many people are thinking that opengl is the the perfect solution (in the sense of platform independent). ....

Like most people here, I don't really want to get into an argument with you as you seem like a particularly intolerant ranter, but just saying something is "wrong" doesn't make it so.

You are basing your opinions on the word of one guy who has a history of being an intolerant ranter himself. While some other (intelligent) people who are also in the industry at least partially agree with him, others don't at all.

Open GL might even be a "failure" as an industry wide open standard right now but that's primarily because of Microsoft buggering things up with it's proprietary standard. It will take a while for things to be right again, but I think this article is making the *excellent* point, that it won't happen until everyone gets behind a truly open standard. The only other option is for everyone to simply get behind Active X but that isn't going to happen now is it?

This situation is no different than the demise of Microsoft Office only it will take even longer because Microsoft is even more entrenched in this area.
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post #17 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... Google's new Android mobile OS similarly shares less in common with desktop Linux platforms...

This is the weakest point of the whole article. It's barely even true and closer to an opinion than fact.

Google is basically doing with Android exactly what Apple is doing with iPhone OSX. Word has it that next year Android will be shipping on some netbooks making the equivalency even stronger. The people out of the loop in the mobile field are Palm, Symbian, and WindowsMobile, although Palm seems to be making an Android-like (but even uglier!) move of it's own with Nova.

As this stuff filters back to the desktop world, the people out of the loop are Microsoft and ... well Microsoft. They will be sitting on top of the same proprietary investment, but leaking on all seams. Direct X, MSIE, Office, and all the other shite they have been stuffing down our throats for years will eventually fail as the world returns to the open standards that prevailed before the Microsoft era.

It's just a long slow wave that we won't see the end of for years yet. Microsoft in particular, is still somewhere between the "denial" stage and the "anger" stage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kübler-Ross_model
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post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Apple hasn't had the physical D15 port on their computers in years, but they have supported the analog signaling, all you need is an add-on connector to use it. Even the new DisplayPort models only need a simple plug-in adapter to use it.

True, all I meant was they haven't been shipping Macs with VGA ports in quite some time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Didn't you say all that two or three times already today? Besides, posting the same thing to different threads is poor form.

Yes he did and I still have no idea what "!=" means.
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post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Yes he did and I still have no idea what "!=" means.

It means "does not equal" that tripped me up a couple of years ago as well.
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post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It means "does not equal" that tripped me up a couple of years ago as well.

For those that didn't know, I think it's C programming language. Maybe it's older but that's the oldest use that I know of. C++ and Obj-C use it as a result. Most often used to compare two different values, and perform a task based on the result. It's a different way of representing the ≠ symbol.
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It means "does not equal" that tripped me up a couple of years ago as well.

Hmm, thinking about it, I feel like we used "!=" in programming class (though I don't believe it was real code). Most people just use "=/=" but oh well.
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post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

and I still have no idea what "!=" means.

! means "not", and != means "not equal". (many languages use this, not just C and Obj-C)
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

! means "not", and != means "not equal". (many languages use this, not just C and Obj-C)

Ah, so it is part of programming. Well in that case, I disagree apfel. I'd say it's more like this:

Windows-OpenGL ~ Linux-OpenGL ~ Mac-OpenGL. And Nvidia-OpenGL ~ AMD-OpenGL

They're not equal, no, but similar.
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post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

OpenGL Windows != OpenGL Linux != OpenGL Mac != "OpenGL" PS3 != ...

Extensions from NVidia != ATI != PS3 , ...

I heard that the Differences can be that big, that sometimes it is maybe easier to port a Game from Direct X to OpenGL than from one OpenGL to another OpenGL! OpenGL is full of proprietary extensions from the GPUs, if you want to use a modern feature set. Apple is going again in a special way.

There is no "that" OpenGL.

And the good Games on the PS3 don't use "OpenGL"/PSGL, from the things I heard.

Some examples?
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's assuming that OpenCL can be used to deliver what OpenGL lacks vs DirectX.

Eventually I can see this being the case. Post-production graphics are mainly rendered on the CPU. With generic multi-threaded rendering like that in parallel on GPUs, OpenCL will deliver real-time photo-realism eventually and you don't need any better than that.

OpenCL doesn't look very easy to develop with compared to DirectX and OpenGL code though. It's specialized code and it's not something developers will be able to hit the ground running with.

I can't see a huge switchover in the short-term. Microsoft is a pretty big player when to comes to video games. They won't just roll over and let OpenGL + OpenCL take away their exclusivity and developers won't rush to modify their millions of lines of code game engines that are rooted in DirectX either.

The whole point to OpenCL is to make the programming easier, so I don't know why it would be harder. It takes more load off the programmer than does DirectX and other programming models, all of which, by the way, are specialized code.

The only reason why DirectX seems to be easier to program for, is because it comes from MS, and MS has most of the computers out there using their own, proprietary, specialized OS's. Otherwise, it's no easier than anything else.
post #26 of 72
apfel and other critics of this article are perhaps a bit inflammatory in their responses, but have good points. OpenGL's core features aren't very extensive, and no game is published without extensive use of the OpenGL extensions. Many of these extensions are specific to certain cards, platforms, or implementations.

DirectX, on the other hand, doesn't have as extensive an extension model, but because it's limited to Microsoft-developed systems doesn't really need it. The big incompatibility with DirectX is between 9 and 10, but 9 is already pretty powerful. Being able to target Windows (90% of computers) and the XBox360 (a top-tier 3G console) with DirectX has given it huge legs. If Microsoft supports DirectX on a handheld it would be a serious competitor.

That, combined with the fact that Android is as close to desktop linux as the iPhone is to desktop MacOS makes this piece more than a little fluff and wishful thinking. Yes, Apple seems to have a pretty reasonable strategy. So does their competitor. No one is switching in droves from DirectX to OpenGL or back. It's currently a wait-and-see situation.
post #27 of 72
Another thing here to note is that Apple also has Grand Central, which , as far as I know, they are not giving out to others. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.

With both Intel, and I believe ARM, eventually having dual core processors for this handheld market, that will give Apple an additional boost that others won't have for some time.

The two technologies will supposedly both be available in 10.6, which will be the basis of Apple's later mobile OS.

I think we have to look at ALL the parts of the puzzle before deciding on just how important any one part is by itself.
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

apfel and other critics of this article are perhaps a bit inflammatory in their responses, but have good points. OpenGL's core features aren't very extensive, and no game is published without extensive use of the OpenGL extensions. Many of these extensions are specific to certain cards, platforms, or implementations.

DirectX, on the other hand, doesn't have as extensive an extension model, but because it's limited to Microsoft-developed systems doesn't really need it. The big incompatibility with DirectX is between 9 and 10, but 9 is already pretty powerful. Being able to target Windows (90% of computers) and the XBox360 (a top-tier 3G console) with DirectX has given it huge legs. If Microsoft supports DirectX on a handheld it would be a serious competitor.

That, combined with the fact that Android is as close to desktop linux as the iPhone is to desktop MacOS makes this piece more than a little fluff and wishful thinking. Yes, Apple seems to have a pretty reasonable strategy. So does their competitor. No one is switching in droves from DirectX to OpenGL or back. It's currently a wait-and-see situation.

While you're right about the current situation, I'm not so sure that it carries over to the future as well as you might think.

If MS supports DirectX for a handheld, THEIR handheld, what will that mean?

We can all agree that Win Mobile, in ver 6, and in the upcoming 7, sometime in late 2009, is no direct competitor to either the iPhone OS, or Adroid, or even the other less polished and standardized Linux based phone distros.

How well MS's phone will do depends on far more than whether it uses DirectX or something else. That's just part of the much larger package.

It's something like the iPod/Zune thing. The Zune isn't inferior in any major way to the iPod, but it hasn't gained traction. It's the overall comparisons that make the difference.

Don't forget that for phones, and other small devices with small, low rez (when compared to desktops and consoles) screens, the graphics components have less to do. much of the complexity of the graphics environment simply can't be seen on these small screens.

That means that it will be several years before many of these extensions will become of major importance for them. This is even true for notebooks for the next couple of years.

This will give Apple, and others, plenty of time to do what they need to to "catch-up" in that area.

If Apple can sell (and the recession will affect EVERYONE's sales) 20 million phones in 2009, and 30 million the next year, Apple will have a lot of devices, when including the surprisingly popular iTouch, using this hardware and software technology. If others also come on that bandwagon, MS will have a lot of catching up to do.

When I use programs such as Moonlight Mahjong on my phone, the way the graphics acceleration allows me to manipulate the tiles is already amazing. I can;t wait for this new stuff to arrive, hopefully at the ADC next year.
post #29 of 72
deleted

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #30 of 72
Imagination authored OpenCL.
post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Netbooks are junk and since netbook sales have not shown to be eating into Apple's premium, full-size laptop sales, but rather into cheap, junky, sub-$1000 full-size PC laptops, Apple has no real motivation to compete there.

...

I seems to me that the reason that netbooks are junk and do not compete much with Apple is that they have been defined lazily, by manufacturers that don't innovate, as cut-down laptops. I think this space is ripe for someone to come in and redefine it.

My own idea would be that netbooks should cut back on processing power (start with iPhone & boost up, rather than laptop & cut down) and port connections (possibly none!) and have high wireless connectivity, possibly making up for processing and data shortfall using servers at Apple as part of a subscription service ( use apps when you need them only ) or built-in optimized back-to-my-mac. Hence 'net' book.

The format would then be 10", fullsize ascii keys, thin as MB Air, super-light, fits in woman's handbag.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #32 of 72
1.
Upon reading this thread there seems to be a lot of arguing about the competition with Direct X. It is a waste of time guys. Apple already has, through iPhone and IPod Touch, enough hardware in the field to sustain app developers! Mobile OS is already a viable platform for developers to target and be profitable on.

2.
If the volume numbers become large enough developers will tend to target that subset of OpenGL that is supported by Apple. This will tend to focus developers on that code that Apple supports directly.

3.
OpenCL is about using GPUs for more "general purpose computing" and is only an advantage for certain types of code that can exploit the GPU hardware - when that hardware is available! Since we really don't know what will be exploitable in the new GPUs it is difficult to say how big the payoff will be on anyone device. These are mobile devices however so I don't expect a lot of free GPU cycles while running graphics code. I quoted "general purpose computing" above for a reason, mainly because it is misleading though often used. The problem is that GPUs are only good at accelerating a subset of what would be considered general purpose code.

4.
Apples deal with ARM and the PowerVR people is very interesting to say the least, however I don't see where this will lead to the huge advantages that management at Apple has whispered about. So I believe there has to be some Apple IP going into one or both of these cores. The problem of course is that the cores are available to others, so how will Apple pull ahead like they have made allusions to? In my mind the answer is a co processor or two optimized by Apple to help with the acceleration of Objective C and OpenCL code on the SoC Apple is building. How would this be done?

Well honestly I'm not sure what they can do for Obj C but there are multiple possibilities for OpenCL. One possibility is that they borrow an idea from Cell and create a custom vector processing unit. This could be tied in or closely coupled with the GPU. The idea here is to have an engine that can run computationally intensive code on it's own decoupled from what the GPU is doing. Another option Apple has that while not exactly OpenCL oriented is to replace ARMs vector unit with one of Apples own design. A third option would be for Apple to simply implement a custom PowerVR core that has more execution resources than the publically available chips. In any event I'm just grasping at straws here trying to lay my finger on what might cause Apple to be so bullish with the direction they are taking.

5.
Sure the PowerVR crowd is highering OpenCL engineers but for what might ask. This shouldn't be taken as an indication that the current IPhone has an OpenCL compliant GPU. I don't know but I think it is another case of jumping the gun as there has been no indication that the GPU is capable of OpenCL acceleration. If somebody has facts that indicate otherwise please speak up, but right now I don't see justification for current IPhone users to get excited.

6.
People have gotten excited about the prospect of back ground applications. Sorry folks but as has been pointed out GPU acceleration really isn't that general. This is from somebody that dearly wants to see background or multi processing on the iPhone. I think part of this defect ( that is what the lack of back ground apps is) is related to management stubborness at Apple and maybe part is a wait for dual core and better ARM cores. There might also be a component in there related to the OS and user environment simply not being ready for it. In any event OpenCL won't suddenly make the iPhone a that much faster. Much of the code on the platform will never hit the GPU.

7.
All of this info coming to light all of a sudden should be a clear sign that the next few weeks will be very interesting in Apple land. I'd expect that just like last year every week in Januarary and Feburary will offer up new products from Apple. In fact I'm a little more bullish on a Tablet at MWSF with the update releases of iMac and Nano offered up in the following weeks.

8.
Number seven above was my optimistic side speaking! The lack of solid rumors or leaks has me thinking the worst though. Apple might throw us a couple of bones at MWSF and the be quite till spring. I don't know which side to believe right now


Dave
post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

All of this info coming to light all of a sudden should be a clear sign that the next few weeks will be very interesting in Apple land. I'd expect that just like last year every week in Januarary and Feburary will offer up new products from Apple. In fact I'm a little more bullish on a Tablet at MWSF with the update releases of iMac and Nano offered up in the following weeks.

My thought is that they already have enough on the table to talk about at MWSF and that the tablet will be introduced later in the year. One of the drivers of this way of thinking is that the tablet will be a really really big deal (IMO), and possibly the last really different new product for a while in that it will basically flesh out and somewhat finalise the new platform Apple is developing.

I don't think Steve will want to bow out of that announcement so I'm thinking that the tablet will not be announced or demoed by Phil at MWSF. Unless Phil's "one more thing" is Steve Jobs sprinting onto the stage to show off the new device, it probably won't happen. Giving Phil a shot at a keynote is one thing, letting him introduce one of the most revolutionary products of the age (yeah, a bit of hyperbole) is not on IMO.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
Reply
post #34 of 72
Apfel: Arguing why OpenGL is better or worse that DirectX only makes sense if you are arguing solutions for MS-Windows. Beyond MS-Windows OpenGL is the only cross-platform graphics library out there. I can't see Microsoft trying to license DirectX, since it would be against its whole approach to platform lock-in.

OpenGL is not perfect, and trying to unify some of the vendor propriety extensions would be a great thing to do. I am not an OpenGL expert, so I can't say whether there has been any move to do this already? Microsoft doesn't need to deal with extensions, since it has one big vendor specific solution, but in doing so no one else has any say.

BTW Does anyone know whether there are any graphics card, that allow for OpenGL 3.0 on MacOS X?
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I seems to me that the reason that netbooks are junk and do not compete much with Apple is that they have been defined lazily, by manufacturers that don't innovate, as cut-down laptops. I think this space is ripe for someone to come in and redefine it.

The incumbent manufacturers didn't define what a netbook was. They didn't invent the category either. They tried to avoid making them because that would push down the prices even more, they wanted people to buy $600 notebooks even if they didn't need what it offered, when a $300 did what they needed it to do. The incumbents did seem to ignore one of the reasons for the 'net' part of the name, the first one was designed to be part of a wireless mesh of them where students can have a local "cloud" of resources.

I'm not sure why people consider them to be junk, the people that I know that have them seem to really like them, many of them are people that I had tended to think of as demanding users.

Quote:
My own idea would be that netbooks should cut back on processing power (start with iPhone & boost up, rather than laptop & cut down) and port connections (possibly none!) and have high wireless connectivity, possibly making up for processing and data shortfall using servers at Apple as part of a subscription service ( use apps when you need them only ) or built-in optimized back-to-my-mac. Hence 'net' book.

The format would then be 10", fullsize ascii keys, thin as MB Air, super-light, fits in woman's handbag.

Except for the size and processor, it sounds a lot like an Air.
post #36 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post

The "facts" in your article about OpenGL are wong. What your are writing is maybe true in theory but thats just all.
Take a look at the official Subset. If you want modern features you have to take the Extensions from Nvidia or ATI.

Windows-OpenGL != Linux-OpenGL != Mac-OpenGL. And Nvidia-OpenGL != AMD-OpenGL

e.g. NVIDIA Hardware und OpenGL problems
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...614#Post246614
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...267#Post246267
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...075#Post245075
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...629#Post242629
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...472#Post241472
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boa...209#Post246209

OpenGL3 is a joke. Big promisses but nearly "nothing" happened. At the end also Carmack (one of the big supporters) was pissed about OpenGL3. DirectX is much better for the programmer.


The PS3 is able to use PSGL. PSGL is a specified Version from OpenGL ES. But PSGL is just an option for the ps3. There are also so much extensions, that where remains nearly nothing from "to be independent from the hardware". No one who understand something from coding on the ps3 will use PSGL.
The Nintendo Wii is using a Custom API. Some of the Concepts of OpenGL are simliar.

I don't give two s**** what John Carmack says.

OpenGL 3.0 was critical and OpenGL 3.1 will hit the mark with Carmack finding some future wishlist item [never meant for 3.1] to bitch about; and then some.
post #37 of 72
http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NE/2008/1215.html

Quote:
Apple-Led OpenCL Brings More Freedom to Processors

In June 2008, Apple Inc. made news by unexpectedly announcing adoption of OpenCL for its next-generation OS. The entire picture of this strategy is now becoming clear. This is the direct response of a processor manufacturer to the impending risk that its current approach would lead to software developers leaving its platform. Multi-core computers are becoming more popular, GPUs are handling more than just graphics, and many processors with new architecture are emerging. OpenCL, which emerged in an era of processor chaos, is about to give software developers and equipment manufacturers the freedom to choose processors.
post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

OpenGL is the only cross-platform graphics library out there.

Yes and that is a good thing. But a lot of this is just theory, especially if you are using modern features there doesn't remain a lot of cross-platform. You have to use the extensions - and they different. And OpenGL in OSX is a special thing.
Linux and Windows cross-platform is working "OK". But OSX is another thing. Apple has implemented his own OpenGL Runtime. The IHVs are offering only the drivers (this is the modell microsoft is using). But the problem is, that this runtime likes to work a little bit different from the IHV implementation under Windows and Linux.

So in practice there remains not a lot of the cross-platform features in the sense, that you have OpenGL-Code that will work in the same way on different plattforms.

I don't know what will happen with OpenGL 3.1 and how much time it will take but I wouldn't expect to much. Maybe they are taking the geometry shader in the core. But I don't think that we will see the new Object Modell.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sddv3d-w5p4
post #39 of 72
The mobile Devices are using OpenGL ES. There they did the Cleanup. Everyone hoped that they make also the Cleanup in OpenGL3, but it didn't happen how I wrote more than one times. So OpenGL and OpenGL ES are not any more identical. It can easily happen that you have to rewrite your Code.

PS3:
The PS3 has its own native API. There is something like an OpenGL ES Wrapper, but there are so many extensions that there is no compatibility. This implementation is so slow, that no one is taking it. You take the native API.

Wii:
So from the things I heard (but I am not sure), the Wii also doesn't use OpenGL. The Wii is using its own API, but there are many similarities to OpenGL.
post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

I seems to me that the reason that netbooks are junk and do not compete much with Apple is that they have been defined lazily, by manufacturers that don't innovate, as cut-down laptops. I think this space is ripe for someone to come in and redefine it.

My own idea would be that netbooks should cut back on processing power (start with iPhone & boost up, rather than laptop & cut down) and port connections (possibly none!) and have high wireless connectivity, possibly making up for processing and data shortfall using servers at Apple as part of a subscription service ( use apps when you need them only ) or built-in optimized back-to-my-mac. Hence 'net' book.

The format would then be 10", fullsize ascii keys, thin as MB Air, super-light, fits in woman's handbag.

But see, you've just brought up Apple's major competitor to netbooks that's already in existence and FAR more popular than netbooks - the iPhone/iPod touch mobile WiFi platform. If all you're gonna do is surf the web, check and write emails, IM, and listen to some music, the iPhone does all that and more and almost more importantly it does all that and more well. Fast boot up, zippy performance, decent storage space.

Meanwhile, it seems a netbook just feels like a neutered laptop that boots slow, has overall poor performance or uses solid-state storage to increase zippiness...but then lacks decent storage (as in, less than some iPhones ship with) because they can't afford to put in a more expensive, higher capacity SSD. Then again, many full-size PC laptops are also trying to compete around that $500-$700 netbook price range and it turns out...people are simply preferring the more portable of the two - the netbook. Of course, nearly a quarter of netbooks bought in the US are returned, probably (imo) because buyers realize just how underpowered their netbook is, in addition to all the other poor compromises made, notably micro, carpal tunnel-inducing keyboards and claustrophobic, migrane-inducing little screens (generally low res too, which, even though these screens are small, give a fuzzy haze over everything).

If Apple had wanted to jump into the profitless netbook market, they would have had to make the same compromises OR avoid those compromises and make an ultraportable, yet not neutered nor toy-sized laptop at a higher price...which they did, it's called the MacBook Air. In addition, they have the far more popular, far more mobile, far more enjoyable to use iPhone/iPod touch platform that doesn't cannibalize their profitable laptops.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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